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Suggestions for a $2000 budget Gaming/Work PC

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August 1, 2012 2:56:05 AM

Hi, I am an avid gamer who has gotten into the art of 3d modeling. My current rig can't handle near to what I am hoping to achieve and holds me back too much. It's time for me to spoil myself and invest in a kickass machine! I'm quite new to building desktop PC's but I hope you all can help me choose my new workstation!

Approximate Purchase Date: Aiming for three weeks from now

Budget Range: $1800-2000 Total

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 3D Modeling/Rendering, music, surfing the web, watching videos

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade: Everything but a mouse.

Do you need to buy OS: No
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Massachusetts, USA

Parts Preferences:
Video Card: Geforce GTX 680

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I need a computer that can run any game coming out on the highest settings. I also need a computer that can render at a fairly quick speed, but nothing on the scale of production quality. Personally the looks don't matter too much to me nor does the noise it makes, but if possible the quieter obviously the better.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've ran my current desktop computer into the ground. It's old, outdated, and I need to treat myself with a new quick and efficient system.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 3:28:34 AM

My advice would be to get just one GTX 670 for now, you'll honestly be able to do all of those things with 1. If you really think you need a 2nd one, then you can go ahead and get the 2nd one later. Also, thats a good power supply, but more PSU than you really need for a dual 670 setup.

750 watt is plenty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PC Power and cooling silencers are the same PSUs as Corsair TX series v2 btw, (they're both made by Seasonic- and yes, they're very good)

I know the budget, is 2 grand, but why spend more than you have to ya know?

Also the NZXT Phantom is a great case, but I'd get the full tower version (non 410 model)
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 4:10:56 AM

Quote:
You knwo...that PSU is a few bucks more expensive and is 200w less powerfull right? and we are talking about PC Power & Cooling so no doubts about quality here...


I didn't look at the prices no. But on newegg the 950 watt is more, if NCIX is running a special sure go for it. I know about the PC Power and cooling silencers, they're Seasonic. Thats whos giving you the great quality, that I agree they absolutely do have. But either way, 750 watt is plenty, if the 950 is cheaper because of a sale, then it would be silly not to get the 950.

As far as a single GTX 680. I'm of the opinion the 680s are one of the biggest failures in Nvidia's history. They released em, they were sold out everywhere for months because of GPU supply issues, then they release the GTX 670, its over a $100 cheaper, and it performs as well as the 680. Have you seen the benches? Nvidia really should just withdraw the 680 from production altogether at this point. Whats even more horrible not only does the 670 perform almost as well as the 680, in some cases it even outperforms it.

This one in particular:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 4:30:38 AM

Quote:

How can you call the GTX 680 a failure??


I just said why lol. As far as overclocking, you're forgetting the 670 can overclock too.

Metro 2033 is definitely a hard nut to crack, because of its piss poor Russian coding. Yes, its actually a Russian game made by Russians, with ironically American actors imitating Russian accents in a lot of cases (yes I can tell).

As further justification of why I consider a failure:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...

Those differences really just isn't worth the extra $100 each. If you're happy with your cards, I'm not trying to knock you, just take a look at my sig and see the puny cards in comparison that my rigs are running. They're definitely awesome, but you can do just as well for much cheaper.

And then AMD huffs and puffs with a driver's update and beats both of them.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...

Of course the 7970s are still expensive, which does make the GTX 670 the de facto best option in my opinion.

As far as a 10 percent difference, this article articulates the same thing I've been saying for months:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/07/18/pci_express_2...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 1:55:26 PM

Quote:

Hmmm, nice info but still... With the details i want Metro 2033 wouldnt be playable with 4 GTX 670's (because of the VRAM) thats why i bought the 4GB version of the GTX 680's and i wanted to future proof as much as i could my system,


Yea, but honestly your resolutions are far more extreme than a lot of people would ever go. Thats like "Command Center" stuff. Awesome as though it may be to us nerds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtzOhJ3mR8U

Quote:
I havent noticed the fake russian accent :lol:  i barely play a few hours a week...

I actually have a weak stomach, Metro 2033 creeped me out too much when I got to the "Librarians". But yea, the main character I think isthe real deal, but that first guy you meet and go places with. Hes definitely faking it, and so is that little kid. I lived in a town that had a lot of Russian/Ukranian immigrants living in it, I was able to speak and understand quite a bit, but didn't make it to being fluent, and I could read and write English words/sentences in Cyrillic. But its been years, I've forgotten most of it.

I love some of the silly things the characters say that clearly were badly translated. So help me when you fight those tunnel dweller guys towards the beginning they said "Bitches killed both of us!".. Apparently hes alive enough to inform his comrades of this. :lol: 

Quote:
hat games would you recomend me? i have metro 2033,mw3,bf3 and Need for speed hot persuit


Hell, I'm on the lookout for new games myself. I used to do nothing but Runescape for years, but I finally got tired of all the bots that Jagex just doesn't seem to care to do anything about. Have you tried the Crysis games?
August 1, 2012 9:51:00 PM

Quote:
what kind of WORK will you be doing.?
Kepler sux as a compute card.


Well I'll be modeling things and sculpting in zbrush using well over 3 Mil polygons. I need a computer that can render out a dense scene with vray including indirect lighting, displacement, and High resolution textures. Basically something that I can use to render scenes in 3ds max using vray, but also be good for gaming, because I'm an addict when it comes to gaming and want to get the best possible visual experience. I know this is not an easy thing to accomplish when dealing with semi-low budget computers, but I would def go SLI for performance keeping it under $2000.
August 1, 2012 10:54:10 PM

Quote:
wow, this is a close call.
you need everything including monitors, keyboard, etc..?


Naw I don't need a new monitor but a new keyboard yes, I mean I do have one but I really should get a new one the one I own is really friggin dirty and just not what I'de desire for a nice new computer.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 11:20:36 PM

LOL, I hope you don't consider $2000 to be semi-low budget.

As a golden rule of thumb, after that first $1000 it just costs more and more for less performance, and progresses the higher you go in performance.

Although, when you throw pre-builts into the mix, I can do a $1000 tower build that I'd stack up against a $2000+ Alienware pre-built any day of the week.
August 1, 2012 11:56:25 PM

Quote:
You definetly need my PC then... another question, does any of your programs take advantage of OpenCL/GL rendering? if so, then a 7970 will be MUCH more effective


A few of my programs do support openGL rendering, but I'm not sure I want to invest in an AMD card. I'm really not a fan of radeon cards I used to have a few and they just didn't impress me.

Quote:
LOL, I hope you don't consider $2000 to be semi-low budget.


Well in terms of a computing/rendering PC $2000 isn't above average. The cards used only primarily for rendering get VERY pricy.


a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 12:03:53 AM

Quote:

Well in terms of a computing/rendering PC $2000 isn't above average. The cards used only primarily for rendering get VERY pricy.


Yea I know professional video cards get pricey, my mind was focusing mainly on gaming lol.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 12:27:50 AM

*braces self* this is gonna get ugly.
August 2, 2012 12:31:45 AM

Quote:
i dont want to be rude but its not about being fan of a brand, is about wich one will give you more performance, the 7970 will give 4x more performance in OpenGL rendering than the GTX 680 and they are both matched in OpenCL performance


I understand its not the "fanboyism" of a brand that should determine whether you buy a certain card, but I've had such good luck with nvidia cards in the past, though the performance I could gain with 3ds max if it is 4x could be significant. It's a tough choice for me, I'll have to think about it. I've heard the crossfire feature can get a little messy.

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 12:35:33 AM
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I guess since I've mainly given input only rather than come up with a build on my own. I'm gonna do it.

My vote still falls in favor for Sandy Bridge over Ivy. So my build will reflect that.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dCMb
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 12:42:17 AM

EvanJbesser said:
I understand its not the "fanboyism" of a brand that should determine whether you buy a certain card, but I've had such good luck with nvidia cards in the past, though the performance I could gain with 3ds max if it is 4x could be significant. It's a tough choice for me, I'll have to think about it. I've heard the crossfire feature can get a little messy.

No messier than SLi honestly, at least not from what I've seen. Same thing with drivers, I've heard a lot of folks complain about AMD having driver problems, but having owned mostly Nvidia cards my whole life, I can't see as though Nvidia is any better on the matter. Every time I've challenged someone to prove that AMD driver's have a worse track record, I've walked away empty handed, and believe me I'd like to get to the bottom of it, until they I'll continue to dismiss it as an "old wives tale".

Now I won't pretend to understand the whole professional side of what you need your graphics card to do, because frankly its beyond my technical knowledge, but I will say from the gaming perspective, the 7970 has a much more subtantial overclocking potential than the 670 and 680. That paired with the recent 12.7 Driver's update AMD did, the 7970 is the superior card. But this has to be balanced with the fact that the GTX 670 undisputed has the "better bang for the buck" (price to performance ratio).
August 2, 2012 12:53:22 AM

nekulturny said:
Now I won't pretend to understand the whole professional side of what you need your graphics card to do, because frankly its beyond my technical knowledge, but I will say from the gaming perspective, the 7970 has a much more subtantial overclocking potential than the 670 and 680. That paired with the recent 12.7 Driver's update AMD did, the 7970 is the superior card. But this has to be balanced with the fact that the GTX 670 undisputed has the "better bang for the buck" (price to performance ratio).


Honestly is the 7970's performance THAT much better to justify like 60 or so more dollars? It would be $120 with crossfire, I'de rather use that for new headphones or the keyboard. I mean the percentage increase is like what 4-7%? More of what I really want is the best CPU I can possibly get keeping it at about $1800-2000. I mean if the increase of HP (Perhaps in the future they may really optimize this feature in games) is great enough to ensure I get better performance in renders or just multitasking than I am willing.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 1:07:41 AM

Quote:

Honestly is the 7970's performance THAT much better to justify like 60 or so more dollars? It would be $120 with crossfire,


It really depends on how much you want to overclock the 7970 if at all. Stock to stock no its not a huge difference for gaming. But yea, when you talk really turning up the juice on a 7970 it can get pretty substantial.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...


I still think like I said earlier in the thread, that my advice would be to start out with one card, whichever it is be it the GTX 670 or 7970, see if its good enough for you before dropping hundreds of bucks on a 2nd one. But thats your call.

As far as the CPU end of it, you're pretty well covered with either the Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge equivalent. The reason I prefer the Sandy is because the performance of the Ivy clock for clock is about 6% average higher performance, which really anything less than 10% really isn't worth its salt to begin with. But the Ivys get pretty toasty when you overclock them heavily, which as far as I understand, limits their final OC which allows the Sandy to pretty well "catch it on the flip side".
August 2, 2012 1:37:25 AM

nekulturny said:
Quote:


I still think like I said earlier in the thread, that my advice would be to start out with one card, whichever it is be it the GTX 670 or 7970, see if its good enough for you before dropping hundreds of bucks on a 2nd one. But thats your call.

As far as the CPU end of it, you're pretty well covered with either the Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge equivalent. The reason I prefer the Sandy is because the performance of the Ivy clock for clock is about 6% average higher performance, which really anything less than 10% really isn't worth its salt to begin with. But the Ivys get pretty toasty when you overclock them heavily, which as far as I understand, limits their final OC which allows the Sandy to pretty well "catch it on the flip side".
Quote:


I will def follow the advice about only getting one to see how it performs. I guess what I want in a video card is its performance, but also it's reliability. I need something that won't give me bios errors the first time I install it or give me trouble when I try to SLI/Crossfire it. Sandybridge seems like my pick for a processor. If it runs cooler than I'm on board. I hate worrying about temperatures constantly, my old computer I'm using has a big ass fan next to the case just to be safe.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 1:55:31 AM

Well for what its worth Tom's Hardware says that the 7970 and GTX 670 are "their two favorite cards". I guess its like children, can you really have a favorite?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...

As far as reliability, I think you'll find as long as you pick one with good quality, you're not going to have a problem. If I were buying one, I'd probably be looking at this one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I checked on Tom's they seem to like that one the best as well.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-over...

I really don't think you can go wrong with the GTX 670 or the 7970 though. They're both Titans.

August 17, 2012 12:49:23 AM

Best answer selected by EvanJBesser.
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